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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Job 41



Verses 1-34

Job 41:1-34 — God Describes Leviathan to Job - In Job 41:1-10 God describes to Job the greatest aquatic animal under His creation, which in Hebrew is called "leviathan" ( לִוְיָתָן). Regarding the identification of this sea creature, the most popular view understands this creature as a crocodile, which inhabits the rivers. The view of a crocodile is supported by the verses describing leviathan's reptile characteristics: fierce teeth ( Job 41:14), and his scales ( Job 41:7; Job 41:15; Job 41:23). Another popular view is to interpret leviathan as the whale. He is a creature that makes the sea boil ( Job 41:31). However, a whale does not have rows of scales ( Job 41:15), but rather skin, being a mammal. Nor does a whale have a distinct neck, as leviathan ( Job 41:22). In my opinion, this passage probably describes a dinosaur of the sea, as does the previous passage about "behemoth" describe a land dinosaur. This view is supported by another passage in Psalm 104:26 that describes leviathan as a creature that plays in the sea. This cannot be a crocodile, which primarily inhabits rivers; nor can it be a whale because it is reptilian.

Psalm 104:26, "There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein."

Job 41:1 Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down?

Job 41:1Word Study on "leviathan" - Strong says the Hebrew word "leviathan" "liv-yaw-thawn"" ( לִוְיָתָן) (H 3882) literally refers to "a wreathed animal, i.e. a serpent (especially the crocodile or some other large sea- monster)." Strong says it figuratively refers to "the constellation of the dragon; also as a symbol of Babylon." Ancient translations are of little help. For example, Wycliffe reads "leuyathan." 65]

65] Josiah Forshall and Frederic Madden, editors, The Books of Job ,, Psalm ,, Proverbs ,, Ecclesiastes , and the Song of Solomon According to the Wycliffite Version made by Nicholas de Hereford About A.D 1381and Revised by John Purvey About A.D 1388 (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, c 1850, 1881), 55.

Job 41:10 None is so fierce that dare stir him up: who then is able to stand before me?

Job 41:10Comments- Job 41:10 reveals the purpose of God's speeches to Job , which is to reveal through creation His own omnipotence and Job's frailty and need of redemption.

Job 41:25 When he raiseth up himself, the mighty are afraid: by reason of breakings they purify themselves.

Job 41:25 — — Comments- A crocodile does not raise himself up upon his hindquarters.

Job 41:31 He maketh the deep to boil like a pot: he maketh the sea like a pot of ointment.

Job 41:31Comments- The crocodile is not considered a "sea" creature, but rather, an inhabitant of rivers, with some species occasioning the sea coasts.

Job 41:33 Upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear.

Job 41:33 — — Comments- Leviathan is larger than any land animal that God created.


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These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Job 41:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. 2013.

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